November 14, 2021 | 5:22 AM HIST


Alexandre Moniz Barbosa

There are several ways of approaching the news that the 23 candidates who stood for the interview for the post of President of the Administrative Tribunal were deemed unfit. This is of course a news item which, at the very least, would raise eyebrows anywhere. What’s ironic about all of this is that the 23 candidates who applied for the position had the required qualifications, including the Masters of Laws, so this was not the hurdle they shied away from. What separated them from the position they aspired to was the panel that interviewed them, which found them unfit for that position. The first thought upon hearing what happened reminds me of the incident in 2018, when all 8,000 applicants for the post of assistant accountant in a government department in Goa failed the written exam. They too were qualified for the job, but found the test to be an obstacle they could not overcome.

One way of seeing things is therefore to question the educational system, in this case the law degree and the master’s degree which for all purposes – we can deduce from this episode – does not create lawyers worthy of occupying a position. post of chairman of the administration. court. From there it appears that obtaining a law degree has become very easy or maybe those who are able were not interested in the job? Radharao Gracias, a lawyer, referring to this news posted on a social media site saying: “A good number of law graduates display extremely low abilities and many are unable to write simple petitions. The same lawyer requested a rigorous entrance test for admission to the law course. This makes sense because since there are entrance exams for most professional courses, shouldn’t there be one for law? The entrance test may not be the complete solution to the problem, the education system also needs to be reorganized, upgraded even to create more competent lawyers.

Besides the entrance test, shouldn’t the faculty of law courses that then teach law students take on the responsibility of ensuring that only worthy candidates for the profession receive degrees? The harsh truth is that students who leave college portals are not deemed worthy of a job when faced with a competitive system.

So what does this say about recruitment in departments where merit is not the key to appointment, but only qualification is? The government of Goa is on a recruitment wave where 10,000 positions in various departments are to be filled by the end of next month. The process is currently underway. The rejection of all the candidates by the selection panel of the president of the administrative court does not inspire confidence that the recruitments in the services of the State will bring competent personnel. As a corollary to this, it is also not reassuring that Goa’s cumbersome bureaucracy will ever improve. Just days ago, Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant carried out a scathing attack on government employees, saying there are some who are unnecessarily circling government files in various departments, which delays decisions. He gave the example of the salaries of temporary teachers and doctors at AYUSH who have been put on hold because of this. He warned officials to speed up the movement of cases and said officials’ efficiency needed to improve.

The efficiency of the bureaucracy will only show signs of improvement when public sector recruitment is based on merit and not on mere qualifications or political connections. Despite numerous denials of government recruitment based on political connections, even a quick glance at how appointments are made reveals evidence of corruption. Therefore, the whole government recruiting system needs to be changed if the bureaucracy is to show signs of improvement. Government recruitment should be conducted openly and in the manner in which the private enterprise seeks the best talent. Moreover, promotion in the public sector cannot be simply based on years of experience, but performance must be given a higher priority. It is very common to see government employees move up the ladder simply because of the years of service they have acquired. This does not happen in the public sector where performance is the criterion. The result of efficiency is then obvious.

The hard truth is that the education system in Goa does not produce employable young people. There are too many aspirants for the jobs available, but when they are not deemed suitable, is it the applicants who are to blame or is it the system that produced these graduates and post-graduates? It is most likely the latter and it needs to be corrected urgently. The rejection of candidates for the post of President of the Administrative Tribunal is a direct reflection of the appalling quality of education in the state and not only in law courses. This raises the question of what graduates coming out of Goa colleges are capable of doing. The University of Goa, its academic council, and all colleges affiliated with the state university alone must sit down and take note of this situation.

Given that this is the second time that all likely candidates for government post have been found unfit – post of President of the Administrative Court and previously Assistant Accountant – explanations must be given as to what is wrong with the education system . We also come back to the question of whether those who are competent prefer not to enter the civil service or government positions. It is not plausible that there are no lawyers in Goa who are capable of serving as the chairman of the administrative tribunal, it is just that the crème de la crème of them did not apply for the position. . Goa is lucky that the maintenance committee was tough on the process and therefore rejected everything, otherwise an incompetent person could have been appointed. But, it still extensively exposes the issue of the quality of education in the state.

Alexandre Moniz Barbosa is Editor-in-Chief, Herald. He tweets to @monizbarbosa

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